Simultaneous with reporting a strong showing at this week’s FADJA in Bogota, multinational igaming and betting solutions provider BtoBet has published a new study into the igaming business in Colombia. Titled Colombia: An opportunity and an example for the whole LatAm region, the report sets out a deeper insight into the prospects for the Colombian market and how it could shape the entire Latin American region.

It noted: “With what is considered as one of the most successful economies in South America, Colombia is strongly emerging as a leading igaming jurisdiction in the region. And even though it is not the most populous country in Latin America, the country boasts a strong internet penetration with well over half the population being internet users.”

BtoBet’s report draws on statistics from the Colombian gaming regulator Coljuegos that show more than $4,389m is betted every year in the country, resulting in $280.5m being redirected to public health services. From a traditional gaming perspective, revenues increased by 25% from 2015 to 2016, which was the greatest growth ever registered in the country.

The report continued: “During the last few years, Colombia has certainly set the trend for the LatAm igaming industry. Not only is it the first country to embrace a regulatory framework in this respect, but a number of other jurisdictions in the region are expected to follow suite in the next couple of years. Whilst this promises to reshape and further strengthen the whole industry in the Latin American region, it also provides operators with the perfect opportunity to prepare and shape their activities to enter these new markets once they get regulated.

BtoBet Chairman Allesandro Fried commented in the study: “A considerable amount of work is needed to be compliant with all the requirements demanded by Coljuegos. Operating in such a strongly regulated scene will guarantee a very good level of protection for both the operators and the players themselves. This high level of regulation will act as a safeguard for all parties who have invested in providing a regulated environment for the players.”

In conclusion, BtoBet offered: “There is much to be optimistic about regarding the full potential of the sector in Colombia. Not only has the country set itself as a leader in Latin America by incorporating a strong regulatory environment, but with the Colombian regulators themselves stating that they are willing to work more closely with other countries on regulatory issues, everything seems to affirm that eventually Colombia will set itself as an example for other markets in the region.

“There is also good reason to believe that a broader cooperation would result in a more linear, harmonised and standard approach to the regulation across the entire region ultimately benefiting all the major countries, including Colombia itself. The efforts made by the local authorities to open up the gaming market should be duly noted. The efforts by the Colombian authorities to set up a system based on a robust and transparent regulation with the operators and customers’ protection in mind are truly commendable and should serve as an example for other LatAm jurisdictions. However, as is most often the case in many markets worldwide, the benefits that operators will be able to reap in such a strongly regulated environment is by making the right choice as regards the choice of the technical partner.”